The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is a critical component of research and scholarly efforts at academic institutions. Most broadly, it serves to uphold public trust in research endeavors by helping ensure the impartiality and ethical conduct of investigators. This is demonstrated through the adherence to both public laws and institutional policies, commitment to best practices and high personal convictions, and observation of professional codes.
For individual researchers, however, guidance around RCR can be difficult to navigate. Some areas, like Federal regulations and instituional policies, are well documented but occasionally complex and opaque, yet must be followed; professional codes and guidelines, on the other hand, are generally understood rules that should be followed. Additionally, there are various informal or undocumented best practices and values that are communicated through mentoring, and can vary based on the understanding and values of the mentor. Further complicating this landscape is the fact that many researchers are not routinely tested on their knowledge of these rules, and behavior is irregularly monitored and penalties inconsistently applied.
UAB is strongly committed to RCR and to preserving research integrity. As outlined in the UAB Code of Conduct, all members of the UAB community are responsible for sustaining the highest ethical standards of excellence, integrity, honesty, and fairness, and for integrating these values into teaching, research, patient care, business practices, and other services. Ethical conduct is a fundamental expectation for every UAB community member, and it is criticial to our research mission.
The information and materials provided on this website are intended to help promote RCR, and improve the understanding of what RCR is, the responsibilities of individuals in preserving research integrity, and the behaviors that are defined as research misconduct.